Sunday, August 31

King's Island

Yesterday Angela, Russ, and I went to King's Island to celebrate my birthday. During the long, cold winter, plans were made for an adults only trip to the local amusement park. I love amusement parks, and used to frequent the only one in Utah, Lagoon every summer while I was growing up. I have many, many pleasant memories of attending the park both with friend's and family, but since I got married I haven't set foot inside a theme park. Ammon, much to his chagrin, had a pretty substantial fear of heights. Couple that with a poor newlywed and college student budget, and a trip to the amusement park was simply never in the cards. The one time that we could have attended Lagoon for free with a work party was the summer I was pregnant with Kadon, and we still weren't able to go. Riding roller coasters and the like is something I have sorely missed since my teenage years left me, so when I found out that there was a pretty good park within 40 minutes of our new home, plans were made to attend this summer. Since the original plan included leaving all the children with their father's, I am grateful that Mary was willing to come down and stay with my kids once again. I am really appreciative that Russ and Mary both regularly take time out of their busy lives to help out in any way they can. It's seldom that I get the chance to leave my children strictly to do something fun, so yesterday was a rare treat. Unfortunately, the park was packed. Being Labor Day weekend, the crowds were substantial, and in the time we had available we were only able to ride four rides. The four rides we rode, though, were awesome. I'll attempt to synopses here with photos.
Delirium was our first ride. We stepped into the park, and immediately set out in search of a thrill ride. Knowing our time was limited, we were on a mission for the most brain-scrambling ride in sight. As we were waiting in line for this ride and had the chance to witness it's wicked arc and rotation action a few times, Russ decided it was a little too brain-scrambling for him. Angela and I braved the ride, and promptly declared ourselves some manner of masochistic for the experience. Exhilarated, we set out again in search of another thrilling ride. This time? A coaster.
Son of beast is a wicked roller coaster, unveiled in the year 2000, and holds several world records. Among them: tallest wooden roller coaster (218 feet), tallest wooden roller coaster drop (214 feet), and fastest wooden roller coaster (78 mph). I have Ammon's wedding ring on a chain around my neck along with a small heart pendant that he bought me, and during the first seconds of this ride the coaster went so fast that I felt the precious ring whipping out behind me. In fear that I would lose my irreplaceable jewelry, I stuck my finger inside the ring and clutched it mightily in my hand the majority of the ride. In the photo stand outside the ride, the photo shows me screaming and clasping the chain with both hands. After this experience, I tucked the ring and chain safely into my wallet for the remainder of the visit.
After Delirium and Son of Beast, we stopped to eat a quick lunch at one of the many stands dotting the park. After our meal, we struck out again in search of the most talked about coaster at the park: The Beast. The description on the King's Island website says it all: Come feel the excitement as The Beast – arguably the greatest wooden roller coaster ever built – unleashes its awesome power on the unsuspecting. This coaster sprawls across a densely-wooded, 35 acre site. It is topographical, so the rugged, natural terrain adds to the excitement. The Beast is the longest wooden coaster in the world at 7,400 feet (1-3/4 miles); travels at speeds approaching 70 mph and has a ride length of nearly four minutes. It features two incredible vertical drops (135 and 141 feet) and has three dark tunnels, plus a spectacular 540 degree helix turn at the end. The Beast was single handedly the longest roller coaster I have ever been on. There is a second chain pull halfway through the ride, which leads to a second breathtaking series of drops. Also, the wait was much, much shorter. After waiting over an hour for our turn on Son of Beast, that alone made me a fan of the ride.
Our fourth and final ride of the day was the monster known as Invertigo. This coaster was unique, and was previously named Face Off, as it positions it's riders in cars facing each other. Russ again opted out of this ride, and Angela and I only waited in line for 40 minutes. The ride only lasts about 40 seconds, but in it's aftermath I was left with a headache that persisted until I went to bed.

All in all, it was a really nice day. I'm looking forward to a more timely visit next year, hopefully on a day other than the Saturday before Labor Day. Thanks for going with me, Russ and Angela. Mary, many, many thanks for watching my children. Happy Birthday indeed.

Thursday, August 28


I was patently unkind to somebody today. There is a woman on the LDS message board that I frequent, and she has occasionally gotten on my nerves. I find her to be somewhat whiny and pretty unappreciative of the blessings that she has been given. Of course, who am I to judge? This woman has an entire life to live, and I only see a very small portion of it on this message board. In my defense, I was bothered by this woman long before Ammon died, so I can't blame it entirely on my heightened grieving status. I'm not proud of it, but in my hurt and anger I used the comparative anonymity of the message board to lash out at somebody who can't lash back. I know without the entire back story, the situation won't make sense, but I feel compelled to explain myself here. This woman has complained about her husband many times in the course of the two years I have been a part of the board family. She often laments his lack of consideration for her, and his careless attitude when it comes to her feelings. I can sympathize with these emotions, I really can. I can't empathize, because I was blessing to be married to a man who didn't take my emotions and my wants lightly, but I can imagine what a heartache it would be to marry a man who did. The thing is--Ammon wasn't always like that. There was a time when he was cruel to me, and took our relationship for granted. There was a time when I honestly thought we couldn't possibly stand the test of time, and when I didn't want him anywhere near me. Thankfully, blessedly, those times passed. When things reached a head, we sought counseling and made our marriage--and our family--more placid and perfect than I ever imagined possible. Since then, but especially since Ammon left us so suddenly, I have very little tolerance for people who aren't willing to put the same amount of work into their own marriages. This woman, I feel, is one such person. She made the decision months ago that rather than be patient and suffer through a home renovation that she wasn't in favor of in the first place, she would punish her husband by abandoning him and visiting with family for two months. Now, a month into the separation, she is complaining about being lonely and missing home and husband. I lost it. I was beyond irritated that somebody could willingly, knowingly, and intentionally make the decision to separate themselves and three children from the father and husband in their lives, and then have the nerve to complain about it. So I snapped. I was unkind and cruel to her in my reply, and though I'm not proud of it, it was nice to get it off my chest. Never, ever, ever take your family for granted. Ammon and I got on our knees every single night and thanked the Lord for the blessing of our relationship. We thanked the Lord for daily for our marriage, our love for each other, and the gift of each other in our lives. We wrote to each other often about our gratitude for each other, and the sacrifices that were made every day in the name of our happy family. It's not that difficult. Our relationship wasn't loving and functional because of luck, it was because we WORKED to make it that way. We worked every day, every week, and every year to make it better. Our marriage, our love, is sacred. We knew that while he was still here, and we still know it now that we are parted. I have little to no tolerance for people who complain about their own fixable, manageable, and tolerable problems. Perhaps I never will.

Wednesday, August 27

I'll take 'em all!


Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Site

Tee Hee :)


I'm sorry to make the situation, and my depression, sound so dire in my previous post. Honestly, as much as I would *like* to end it all, I know that I won't do it. I may sometimes longingly dream of the day when Ammon and I can be re-united, but that scene simply doesn't involve the resounding slap in the face I would surely receive if I showed up at the pearly gates before my appointed time. No, I have no plans to take my life. I carry around a longing in my heart for my time to come very soon, but will never, could never, take that decision into my own hands.

Tuesday, August 26


Last night I had trouble with my Internet, and couldn't log onto my blog. I could access my homepage, but go no further. In desperate need to write, I wrote my post into Word Pad, and had half formed plans to post it this morning. In the light of dawn, I changed my mind. It was dark, even darker than my normal dark posts, and scary in a way I'm not quite ready to share. In fact, Jeremy must have closed it for me, because now it's gone. Anyway, I am trying to be more in tune with my moods, and I have felt a dark period coming on for a few days now. As much as I would like to be able to fight it off and not experience it, I don't think it's possible. I've never been one to 'give in' to my darker emotions, but since Ammon died I haven't been able to fight it off as well. If I'm absent for a while, I'm busy trying to stay away from large doses of sleeping pills and hiding my butcher block. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as the fog of grief continues to lift.

I miss the look of surrender in your eyes
The way your soft brown hair would fall
I miss the power of your kiss when we made love
But baby most of all
I miss my friend

The one my heart and soul confided in
The one I felt the safest with
The one who knew just what to say to make me laugh again
And let the light back in
I miss my friend

I miss the colors that you brought into my life
Your golden smile, those blue-green eyes
I miss your gentle voice in lonely times like now
Saying it'll be alright
I miss my friend

The one my heart and soul confided in
The one I felt the safest with
The one who knew just what to say to make me laugh again
And let the light back in
I miss my friend

I miss those times
I miss those nights
I even miss the silly fights
The making up
The morning talks
And those late afternoon walks
I miss my friend

The one my heart and soul confided in
The one I felt the safest with

Monday, August 25

Random Photo Post

I have been remiss in posting photos lately, and as a result they have been building up in my picture folder. This post will likely be somewhat disjointed, but I wanted to share these pictures regardless.

The day before Jeremy started school we were out running errands, and decided to stop at Frisch's Big Boy and see what all the fuss was about. To the best of my knowledge, it's a local restaurant known for it's 'Big Boy' hamburger, tarter sauce, and crushed ice. I tried the signature dish, and the kids each had macaroni and cheese. The verdict? The baked apples were delicious, the tall frosty coke with the crushed ice was delectable, and the kids macaroni went down without a hitch. The hamburger and onion rings left something to be desired, and I doubt that I will ever stop in again simply for the food. The drive through might call my name occasionally when I get need a caffeine fix. One thing I will say for the restaurant--never in my entire life have I been more impressed with the quality of service. Everybody from the manager, different waiters, and the busboy stopped at my table to see if I needed a drink, and word quickly traveled around the restaurant that it was our first visit to Frisch's. During the meal, several people stopped by to see if we were enjoying the food. Not wanting to hurt feelings, I plastered a large smile on my face and lied through my teeth. Food-0 Service-10+
This photo was taken the day before my brother and his girlfriend came for their week long visit. Mary and Russ had been at our house helping me do a deep cleaning, and for lunch we dragged our tired bodies to McDonald's. We let the boys run while we chatted, and Brooklyn had a marvelous time eating Mary's ice cream, then playing with the cup. She is so cute I could gobble her up and eat her!
I'm not sure exactly how this game got started, but it was definitely adorable.
Another photo of Brooklyn. I love this picture for the bright, summery colors. There is a pool located in our apartment complex, and usually the boys have a wonderful time swimming while I cautiously follow Brooklyn around on the pool deck. It's quite a juggling act taking three small children to a swimming pool by myself, and as such we have only been there a handful of times this summer. Next year I am hoping for more frequent trips, and children who are more confident in the water. This year the float I bought for Brooklyn (not the inner tube pictured) overwhelms her so much in size that she won't go anywhere near it. Hopefully during the winter she'll grow into the large toy, and be able to utilize it next year.
This photo is mostly for Angela. For my birthday she sent a large bouquet of flowers, since she couldn't be here in person. They were a lovely surprise on a day that I had nothing else planned, and even though they reminded me vaguely of the many, many bouquets that were delivered in the days immediately following Ammon's death, I have enjoyed their cheerful presence in my kitchen.

Sunday, August 24

Into the Dark

I sense that I have begun to surpass the traditional '4 month' patience zone of the people in my life. It's a generally accepted phenomenon among widows and widowers that after 4 months, the world moves on. The people that professed to 'be there no matter what' begin to withdraw back into their own lives, and phones that previously rang off the hook with people just checking in begin to sit still for days on end. Helpful knocks at the door subside, and help in a general sense fades from a communal sense of empowerment to a few reliable people who persist past the usual period of acceptable grief. How ironic it is that after 4 months, another generally accepted milestone is reach--the shock begins to wear off. The pervasive fog that envelopes a grieving person, especially with a loss as profound as a spouse, begins to lift, and the shambles of the widowed persons life begin to come into clear focus. Are the two milestones related? Does the fog suddenly lift and become overpowering grief because the support system is suddenly failing, or is it simply the fact that human consciousness can only sustain thought for that brief period of time? To everybody else, life continues on. I noticed this inexplicable trend the day of the funeral. My small apartment went from being literally mobbed with people-to contained only my sister, my children, and myself in a matter of hours. The day after the funeral, all but two close friends had departed, and by Monday I was completely alone for the first time since Ammon's death. Monday, a mere 10 days after the love of my life departed, I was left alone in our home, to care for our children, and expected to function. I'm not complaining. I'm not pointing fingers of blame, because I understand that the functionality of life continues for other people, regardless of my own personal tragedy. In the ensuing months, offers of help have been reasonably frequent. For the first few months, women came into my home twice a week to assist me with the process of getting three children fed, bathed, and into bed at a reasonable hour. Once a week a dear friend brought over dinner, then helped with the bedtime routine before leaving with her family for the night. Several times the husband of this friend attended to the menial housekeeping tasks that had fallen into disrepair with Ammon's departure. Slowly, gradually, but noticeably--most of these things have stopped. My friend still comes over on Thursday when our schedules align, but we have both acknowledged that with the onset of school for our older boys and ourselves--this tradition will likely fall to the wayside as well. As impossible as it seems, the world has moved on. Life continues as normal for the people in it, and my family has decreased it's significance.

I knew when Ammon died that this would happen. I knew that eventually, and probably sooner than I hoped, people would stop being so worried about this. I suppose I should be flattered that people are so confident in my ability to care for my children on my own, but sometimes the loneliness is pervasive and heavy. Days like today--when everybody I know and everywhere I look there are families enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon. On other days, I feel free to call and reach out to others when I am having a lonely afternoon, on Sunday's I hesitate. Family time is sacred, and was something that I guarded jealously when I was still a wife. Ammon's church calling as a youth basketball coach ate into our family time, and I sometimes shamed myself with my jealousy for those deserving boys. The time that he dedicated to practicing and playing with those boys took up one evening in a week, and a good portion of every Saturday. I was irate if people called after 7pm any evening--the children were in bed, and Ammon and I religiously spent time together during those hours. Most people recognized our unspoken boundaries, and those who didn't were harassed for disturbing us during those hours. Weekends were especially sacred. We longed for Saturday's with no other obligations, and Sunday's were spent lounging around the house until it was time to go to church, and then more lounging around the house after meetings were completed. Knowing how jealously I guarded these times, I hesitate to disturb them for somebody else. Instead, I come here and spew my grief onto my blog. Part of me hesitates still--what if somebody reading this is offended? What if my pleas for more attention fall on ears that are already giving of themselves, and hurt their well-meaning intentions? I hope that is not the case. Today I'm simply feeling overburdened with guilt. Last night I started working on a project, one that I think in the end I will be glad for. In the meantime, however, it caused me great pain. At some point I will drudge up the strength to finish it and post it here for all to see, but I anticipate many, many tears in the meantime.

Yesterday I was putting away clothes in my bedroom, and caught myself eyeing his side of the closet. I fingered through his dress shirts, and found two that were unwashed since the last time he wore them. There are possibly others, but these two had the cuffs of the sleeves still rolled up. My sweet husband abhorred long sleeves, and would often take a perfectly nice dress sleeve and roll it up until his forearm was exposed. When removing these shirts, he would simply unbutton the top two buttons, pull the shirt over his head, and replace it on the hanger to be worn again. Yesterday, when I noticed anew the two shirts will rolled up sleeves, I pulled the hangers out and held the shirts to my face. I breathed in his odor--a subtle scent that the brain forgets, but the heart never could. I cried again, bitter tears for all that was ripped away from us. I long to rest my head on his chest and pour my grief out to him. I long to have him wrap his arms around me and comfort me in the way only he is capable of. My heart is connected to his. My soul is part of his, and with his departure it is less than one, less than a whole. I wonder--will I ever be whole again? Some urge me to remarry. To open up my heart, and to find love again. I wonder if such a thing is ever possible. I have the assurance from others, and even from Ammon himself, that such a relationship is acceptable, and even desirable for my future happiness. Right now, though, I am so mired in misery and longing that the possibility seems remote and impossible. I don't want to be reminded of my ability to remarry, and I find it offensive when other's suggest that such a match would heal my broken heart. Nobody will ever replace Ammon, and no other person will dull the ache of missing him. What, then, is the point of trying? If meeting somebody else, if opening up my heart again will not ease the ache of missing Ammon, why should I open myself up to more hurt? I simply want my best friend back. I miss him.

Saturday, August 23


Thanks to all those that commented on my last post. My friend Joanna discovered lice in Kadon's hair while she was here for her regular Thursday date, and I was shocked. Shock quickly turned to horror, though, when it was quickly discovered that both Jeremy and I were also infested. Kadon's infestation was definitely the most progressed, but the decision was quickly made to shave Jeremy's head to the scalp. I was told by several neighbors to take the razor to Kadon's head as well, but I was completely resistant to removing Kadon's luscious, beautiful locks. While Jeremy's head was being shaved by my neighbor's husband, I set to removing the lice from Kadon's head with a small plastic comb. I removed countless live bugs, and saw thousands more eggs nested into his lovely hair. On a recommendation from yet another neighbor, I slathered both Kadon's and my hair in copious amount of mayonnaise, covered it in a shower cap, and went inside to start assessing the damage to my house. I stripped bed, towels, rugs, stuffed toys, pillows, and clothing from all the bedrooms. I had re-finished the dressers in the boys bedrooms, and so for the previous two days their clothing had been stacked in piles in their bedroom. Rather intent on being thorough, I emptied both dressers of every piece of clothing and threw all the accumulated laundry down the stairwell. When I had completed my task upstairs, I was no longer even able to walk down the stairs. It was full from the bottom to more than halfway up with an ankle deep layer of laundry and bedding. All of these things had to be washed in scalding hot water--I shudder to think of my utility bill next month. My washer and dryer ran nonstop for more than 24 hours, even running through the night. I lost count of the loads of laundry somewhere around 15. Nearly all the pillows in the house--the ones on my couch, almost all the extra pillows from the beds, my dry clean only comforter and pillow shams, the dog pillow--it is all still shut up in dark plastic bags and stashed in closets. These things will remain in storage for two weeks in order to ensure that the bugs have in fact been killed and I have had time to insure that my scalp is clear of the pests. Around 10pm on Thursday night, after I had a chance to vacuum my entire house and all the furniture, my sister in law Janice came over to begin the tedious process of picking nits out of my hair. I rinsed the mayonnaise out, and then put a special lice killing shampoo in my hair. After rinsing it out, she spent two hours methodically checking my hair and removing hundreds of the tiny eggs. The eggs adhere themselves with a waterproof glue to the strand of hair, and are impossible to remove with washing or combing. The must be individually pried from every individual hair shaft. It takes hours, and is incredibly tedious.

Around 2:30 am Kadon woke up and wanted the mayonnaise rinsed from his head. I washed his hair, and upon bleary-eyes inspection, I was hopeful that I would be able to remove the nits without having to shave his head. When morning finally came, I called Jeremy's school to inform them of his absence, and fed the kids breakfast. I remained optimistic about clearing Kadon's head manually until I sat down on the sofa with him in front of me and got a good look at the nits still remaining nested among his hair shafts. It quickly became obvious that I had no chance of removing all of them, and if even one nit gets left behind--it will hatch and the whole process will begin again. I made the painful decision that Kadon's beautiful, luscious curls--the object of praise and adoration for most of his life, and his Dad's pride and joy--had to be removed. I fought back tears as I ran the razor over his scalp.

At this point, the house has been cleared of lice. The boys are clean, and the baby doesn't have enough hair to harbor the pests. I continue to use the lice comb daily, and have struggled to find people to come over and pick the nits out. I am optimistic about getting the pests removed before my impending trip to Utah at the beginning of September. I will diligently check the kids for lice every week for the rest of their lives--lice is horrible, pervasive, and difficult to remove. It's also incredibly communicable, and has no boundaries of class, social status, or cleanliness. It is a common misconception that lice are somehow related to filth or bad hygiene--this is patently false. They are simply parasites, and easily transferable. Hopefully, we are nearly at the end of our first--and last--infestation.

Friday, August 22


I hate lice.

Wednesday, August 20

The Luckiest

Go to the bottom of my blog to the music player, and select "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds Five. Click on it, and listen to it while you read this post.

Ben Folds Five is a band that I discovered while still in high school, and one of the only bands that I introduced Ammon to when we started dating. I owned one album, and it to date is the only CD that I have ever actually worn out. In later years, they released another album, which I purchased when it was released, and when the original CD that I burned up was re-released with additional bonus tracks, Ammon bought it for me for Christmas. Over the years, we have many shared memories of listening to BFF. Lisa might remember when we drove through the night to reach either Phoenix or Houston, Ammon was driving the late shift. In an effort to stay awake and alert, Ammon and I put in our favorite BFF CD, and belted out the lyrics with gusto. I think Lisa thought we were a little bit nuts, but it remains one of my fondest road trip memories.

It seems appropriate, then, that since Ammon's death I have found yet another BFF song that speaks to me. His lyrics are known for being quirky and insightful, and this song speaks to my heart. I only wish I had found it before Ammon died, and we could have shared another sweet memory with this tender, touching song. I play it often to remind myself that I am, indeed, The Luckiest.

I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here

And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

What if Id been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?

And in a white sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you

Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away
I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong
That I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

I love you babe. You made me the luckiest girl ever, and I am so grateful that we had so many years to make each other blissfully happy. Eternity can't come fast enough, my love.

First Day of School

Click to play First day of School
Smilebox" src="" width=386>
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Jeremy's first day of school today, and it was every bit as difficult as I feared it would be. As long as we were sitting on the curb waiting for the bus to come I held it together, but the second my little boy pulled away from one last hug, I started to lose it. I have successfully hid all my anxiety from him, but I know as he was sitting on the bus and watching me out the window, he was confused about my tears. I tried to smile and wave several times to reassure him, but I'm sure he'll have questions when he gets home this afternoon. I kid myself that if Ammon were here I would have handled it better--the only difference would have been my ability to fall into his arms in tears instead of taking myself into the lonely house to cry alone. I miss him.

Saturday, August 16

The End of an Era

I went through the motions today, trying to make the last Saturday before Jeremy starts kindergarten a special one. I wanted to take Jeremy to a hair salon that caters to children, and get his hair trimmed before school starts, then I thought that the four of us could take in a popular festival around these parts. It's held on the banks of the Ohio river, and I've heard it praised for months. The plan was to put Brooklyn down for a morning nap, and then strike out for the day.

As the morning wore on, however, I found myself thinking about the coming months, and all the things that are about to change. Jeremy starting kindergarten on Wednesday should be a joyful event. I know many other mothers that have looked forward to that glorious day with great glee. It should be a happy occasion in my life, too. Instead, it is the first thing in a very long list of things to change for the rest of our lives. After Jeremy gets acclimated to the first couple of weeks to school, Brooklyn and I have a whirlwind trip to Utah planned. As soon as we get back, I have one week to get Kadon acclimated to attending pre-school two days a week, and then the fall semester starts for me. I luckily won't have to spend a great deal of time on campus this quarter, probably only 5-7 hours a week, but I know that with my Internet courses, along with Jeremy and Kadon going to school, then Brooklyn thrown in on top--time is about to enter a phase where it whips by with a pace that will leave us all breathless. As soon as fall quarter is over, we will all have a brief period to rest--and then all three children will begin to attend regular daycare with the start of my spring quarter. This pattern will continue--probably until each of them reaches an age where they no longer require constant care.

All these emotions--all these changes--each of them wrapped up in one weekend. It's a lot to take in, and when faced with the challenge of making it special--I completely buckled. I hate that my grief, my fear, and my anxiety makes me short with my kids. My emotions destroy the very thing that I'm anxious to preserve--and that knowledge makes the whole thing more painful. I'm not feeling angry today. I'm not even missing Ammon, at least not past the usual dull ache that resides in my chest. Today, I just feel a deep, wrenching sadness for the loss of our lives as we've known them. It makes me ache in the pit of my stomach that this chapter--the chapter where I get to stay home and raise my children--is rapidly coming to a permanent close. All the things that this weekend symbolizes are tearing me up inside. The constant ache of missing Ammon, and the changes that ripple beyond my control.

I want my quiet, placid, perfect life back. I fear that it is gone forever, and I'm left with this unrecognizable existence as a poor substitute.

Thursday, August 14


I am feeling incredibly overwhelmed. The last few weeks have been so hectic with all the different things the oncoming fall is bringing into our lives. Jeremy starts school at Batavia Elementary next Wednesday, and I alternate between feelings of joy and deep sadness at this approaching milestone. I have been awed and amazed at my dear little boy. I can't believe that it is time for him to take the great step into kindergarten, and along with dealing with the emotions that come along with such a huge change, I am still constantly dealing with the loss of Ammon in our lives. I have all the usual anxiety about kindergarten, but it is multiplied many times over knowing that Ammon won't be here to help me put him onto the bus his first day, or to hear about the adventures when he returns later in the day. Kadon is also starting pre-school, a two day a week program that is reasonably affordable. I start school on the 24th of September, and in the meantime I have a week long visit to Utah to think about. Things are moving at breakneck speed, and the finality of it all scares me. I want to make this weekend last--the last weekend of Jeremy's little boyhood. From Wednesday forward--he will be officially growing up. I feel as though as long as I keep him cocooned in our household, he is in a fairly static state. Once I hand him over to the outside world, I know he will be swept beyond my control. I wish that I had another parent to share all of this with. Friends, family, even other widows all understand. But only another parent, only the one person who shares DNA with my children and was there to watch them grow in my womb, cradle them in their first hours, and gently usher them through early childhood--only Ammon could truly understand the pain that these milestones bring. I miss him, more so now than ever.

Lately I've started to think of the last few months of Ammon's life in a different way. Instead of mourning all that was lost when we lost him, I am trying desperately to see his last few months as the closing scenes in an amazing life. I look at some of the most recent pictures of him, and I drink in the look in his eyes. I see there an absolute peace, a sense of accomplishment and deep pride that few people ever achieve. Ammon loved, and was loved, in a way that few people are fortunate enough to experience in this life. I don't kid myself. We weren't perfect, and I refuse to look at the past with rose colored glasses. This I do know, though: we were perfect for each other. We still are. Our eternal marriage, if I can manage to live worthy of that throughout the rest of my days, will be a replica of what we shared on this earth. The majority of our marriage was beautiful and fulfilling, but when I look back at photos of him taken in the last six months of his life, I see a man who is satisfied. I see a man who has achieved all he had set out to do, and the fire of love and peace burned from within. I am grateful that we both were blessed enough to recognize that peace before he left us. I don't want to admit that Ammon finished the work that he was sent here to do. It boggles my mind that his work could have been completed, when I look around me and see so many things left unfinished. I want Ammon to be able to help me raise his children, and not only to ease the burden of responsibility from my shoulders. I feel that burden acutely, but I mostly regret the things that he is missing. I know that we are an eternal family, and I know that the children we created together will someday know him for the loving father that he is. What pains me is knowing the things that his physical body will miss in the meantime: the first time Brooklyn said Mama. Jeremy's first day of school. Kadon's first day of pre-school. My acceptance into college, and the struggles that adventure will surely hold. I know that he would be proud of our family. Ammon always put great stock into my ability to accomplish things, and I know that hasn't changed. I feel that he still has great faith in me, and the times that I feel his presence near me, I am reassured of that fact. I ache for the milestone's that he misses, though. Soon, too soon, I will have to find a daycare provider for the children so I can attend classes full time on campus. I was able to find Internet based courses for the first quarter of this year, but in January I will be forced to switch to on-campus classes full time. I can't think about daycare too much. I never in a thousand years thought that I would be one of 'those ' parents, and I know in my heart that I still won't be. I regret the loss of my stay at home status, though, and everything that will mean for my children. I want desperately for Brooklyn to take her first steps, say her first word, before spring quarter starts. I couldn't bear to miss those milestones. It's bad enough that Ammon has to miss them, and I find myself completely unwilling to hand any other major milestones over to anybody else. Kadon starts preschool two days a week in September, and his first day is scheduled to be the Monday that I will spend in Utah. I know that Russ and Mary would be more than happy, and are perfectly capable, of shuttling Kadon there and back, and dealing with any first-day anxiety. I, however, can't do it. I can't handle not being there for my baby's first day of preschool. I wonder in coming years, as I get more and more wrapped up in my education and the search for a career, how many other milestones I will have no choice but to pass on. I try not to think too much about what the future holds, but look instead at the past, and all that we have been blessed enough to experience. I was loved by a man that saw me for who I am--for the eternal spirit that I possess, and for the daughter of God that I am. He saw me that way in this mortal life--and loved me with all my flaws and imperfections firmly in place. I can only guess at what his eternal self sees me as. I look forward to the day that we are reunited with all my heart, but right now I stand fixed at the precipice of a future that terrifies me. I try to carry the peace of his final months with me, and see his life as come full circle instead of being cut tragically short. Our loves knows no bounds, and is not a love that can be disturbed by death, tragedy, or separation. I will love him with all of my soul until the day we are brought back together again. I only can hope to live worthy of his love until then.

Thursday, August 7

Letters from the Past

I was sorting through messages in one of my email folders tonight, and I came across a few letters from Ammon I had unearthed and filed away in the weeks immediately after his death. I had forgotten about most of them, but going through them and re-reading our expressions of love for each makes me feel a little bit closer to him. It's as if reading the words that he wrote to me bring his voice, his spirit, his essence closer to me. I miss him.

March 31, 2008 Ammon wrote:
I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am feeling for you today. I'm really glad that we seem to have re-connected a bit over the last few days and I want you to know that you make me a very happy man. You do such an amazing job not only running the house and being a great mom but you somehow find a way to make me happy too. I know there is a lot on your plate and I can only hope that my efforts can ease even a small part of that from you and that you feel recognized for all that you do. I love you more than anything in the world and want you to understand how great you really are.

Sunday, August 3

A Dream

I had a dream about Ammon last night. In it, he was laying over me, and I was kissing him. I wasn't kissing his lips or his face, but his shoulder and his neck. I felt everything vividly--the contours of his shoulders, the way his muscles flexed beneath his skin, the curve of his shoulders and the bend of his neck. I felt the texture of his skin, the distinct hardness beneath the softer tissue that speaks of my husband's body. I have no memory of what he was doing to me. In life, he would have been kissing me just as fervently as I was kissing his skin--but in my dream that part is strangely absent. I only know that for those brief moments--the longing for his touch was satisfied. I rejoiced at his presence in my arms--and my subconscious mind thought 'Finally! Finally, I have awoken from this terrible nightmare, and Ammon is where he belongs." I relished the taste and texture of his skin, and the feel of my arms wrapped around his sturdy body. Just as the passion reached a peak, I abruptly awoke. All sensation of relief, all comfort--immediately faded. I awoke alone in my bed, in the early morning hours of my 17th Sunday without him. All throughout today, I carried the memory of his touch. Of the feel of him within my reach, and although it was bittersweet, I am glad for the visit. I don't know if this dream--and the one other that was similar--are visits from him, or simply the manifestation of my internal longing for his solid presence. Part of me wants to believe that he is being allowed to visit me--touch me--in the way he was most comfortable with in life. Knowing my husband, in his longing to show me his love, he would choose to approach me in a physical way. Our physical love when he was on this earth was beautiful, and a cherished part of our marriage. My faith, as shaken as it has been, doesn't extend far enough to believe without doubt that last night was a visit from my lover. But I wish desperately that I could know that it was. I miss his touch, I miss his smell, I miss the taste of him on my lips.

Saturday, August 2


"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much." - Mother Theresa

I know I've been absent lately. Sorry. Life has hit me upside the head, and I'm still struggling to find my balance. I promise to be back soon with more updates.